‘ The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’ Isaiah 58:11 NIV
There are certainly days when I lean more towards the sun- scorched land and the bubbling spring is nothing more than a mirage taunting me in the distance. You know those days, nothing seems to be going right! The universe is sinisterly plotting against you, cutting you off at every turn. In surrender, you throw up your hands. It’s just going to be one of those days ! Giving defeat the upper hand.
How did I begin the day….was He my first thought, my first conversation ?
Guaranteed my to do list and yesterday’s challenges and failures slipped in ahead of my time with Him.
He promises to give me the strength to last the day, the energy to face what-ever and wisdom to choose wisely.
So if you are having ‘one of those days’, it’s okay to throw up your hands, not in surrender to defeat but in declaration of His goodness, soaking up his life giving water that never fails to quench and sustain , and tomorrow…dive into His presence first.
‘Prayer is to the spirit what breath is to the body. We treat prayer as though it were the spice of life, but the Bible prescribes it as a vital staple in our diet.’ -David Hubbard
Walk Towards Easter . 30 .
‘ Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth, and taking Jesus’ body down from the cross, he wrapped it in the cloth and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.’
Q. How would Joseph have felt?
Loosing someone that we love is one of the most painful experiences in life . We all have to face it at some point and grieving can often be a long and difficult process, but it is an inevitable process in this condition….humanity.
As Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body , broken and lifeless , I can only imagine the enormity of his grief. He was yet to have a full understanding of the salvation that Jesus had purchased for him in giving up His life. The bewilderment of the situation as he carried Jesus’ body away to be buried in a borrowed tomb, must have been consuming . He thought that Jesus was going to set up His Kingdom and reign as King, there in His lifetime, but now He was dead. Was all that he thought to be true……not ? Was Jesus really the Messiah ? All these conflicting thoughts married with an overwhelming grief. Things had not turned out as he thought they would !
Situations arrive in life where we are certain that we have it all worked out, we think we know the outcome, our desired result, and then the unthinkable occurs. Our reality is rocked as our certainty turns to confusion . It is not how we thought and planned it to be.
It is in these times when we are swamped in confusion that we need to hold fast, and lean into faith.
‘ All of us have strayed away like sheep, we have left God’s paths to follow our own. ‘ Isaiah 53:6
‘ The Lord your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says : I am The Lord your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow.’ Isaiah 48:17
Don’t give up because circumstances are not all that you desire, at the dawn of a new day , clarity , direction and understanding will come. He is faithful to His promise .
Walk Towards Easter . 27.
‘ At noon darkness fell across the whole land until 3 o’clock .’ Mark 15:33
Q. What is the significance of the darkness?
Have you ever experienced a total eclipse of the sun ? That eerie darkness that gradually engulfs the heavens and just as gradually light re-emerges as the sun becomes visible again. It’s not a total darkness but more like the gentle hues of twilight as the sun is only completely obscured for a couple of minutes.
But in those few short minutes the source of our warmth, the light of our day is hidden from our sight as though we were veiled.
Jesus hung on the cross for three hours, three hours in a deep darkness. Three hours He endured a total separation from His Father, as God turned His face and withdrew His presence from His only Son as the weight of all sin rested upon Him. Jesus had walked and talked with His Father since He was a little boy. He was in total communion with God and now He was alone, cut off from heaven.
The anguish which must have enveloped Him is incomprehensible , something we can never understand. And He suffered this in order to release us from the chains that hold us in darkness, so that we might never have to encounter the torment of separation from God.
Grace immeasurable, Grace uncontainable , Grace undeserved , a love that knows no bounds and is available to all who would ask.
His love……is…….amazing .
Walk Towards Easter . 24.
‘ They dressed him in a purple robe and made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on His head. Then they saluted, yelling, ” Hail! King of the Jews!” And they beat him on the head with a stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship.’ Mark 15:16-19
Q. What motivates the mockers ? Are you ever tempted to mock Jesus ?
They dragged Jesus before a whole battalion of soldiers to mock and abuse him both verbally and physically . Why ? Why would anyone want to do this to another human being ? The mob , bully mentality continued onto the Roman authorities, spreading like a virus. One by one more people stepped in to join the brutalising of an innocent man, almost as if it were a sport. They mocked and humiliated Him until they were tired of their sick game.
I cannot fathom what their motivation must have been , it is foreign to me and my only conclusion is that the enemy of our souls was at the root of it all , spurring them along for his own evil purposes.
Isaiah foretold these events;
‘Who has believed our message? To whom will The Lord reveal His saving power? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot , sprouting from a root in dry and arid sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected- a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! ‘ Isaiah 53:1-5
Jesus’ tormentors were blinded by unbelief, lost in their ignorance. Unable to see that the very man they persecuted was indeed their Saviour.
May our eyes be open that we do not mock Him in looking the other way as He passes by, but instead , we stand up and follow after Him.
Walk Towards Easter. 22.
‘ They bound Jesus and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. Pilate asked Jesus, ” Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, ” Yes, it is as you say.”
Q. How does your life show/or not show Jesus is King?
As I traverse this journey towards Easter a resounding theme is pressing upon my heart. Who do I kneel before?
I have had to ask myself many questions and delve deep into my life honestly looking at how I live………….
Is my faith honest and simple like that of a child,
Where have I placed importance, what do I treasure,
Do I give Him the best of my time,
Am I walking a life reflecting my beliefs,
Are my actions those of a thankful heart,
In all things do I lean on His strength,
Is He at the centre of my world,
Am I shining a light in my life that draws others to Him,
Do I allow Him to reign in and over my existence ,
Have I placed my foundations solidly on Him, the cornerstone,
Am I ready,
In the knowledge of His sacrifice do I bring to Him in worship my whole being,
Am I willing to be different,
Can I forgive,
Will I stand proud and tall, honouring Him ?
This journey has been one of reflection and repentance, forgiveness and choices and an encountering of Him.
Who do I kneel before?
I kneel before the King………….Jesus.